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Master's thesis

Degree programme: International Business Management

Completion year of the thesis: 2015

Narula Dinesh

SPACE PLANNING FOR THE


YOUTH IN SAARENKYLÄ
BRANCH OF ROVANIEMI CITY
LIBRARY
MASTER'S THESIS | ABSTRACT

TURKU UNIVERSITY OF APPLIED SCIENCES

International Business Management

2015 | 75

Instructor: Laura Heinonen

Dinesh Narula

SPACE PLANNING FOR THE YOUTH IN


SAARENKYLÄ BRANCH OF ROVANIEMI CITY
LIBRARY

Libraries have always been the building blocks in everyone’s personal and professional
development and they still continue to do so. Almost every county in Finland has its own library
and lots of capital is spent on its establishment, effective and efficient running, development and
florishment of its various sections namely: children’s section, youth section, newspaper /
reading section, music and video section, main lobby, regional section, personnel / HR section,
exhibition section, and cafeteria forming the basic ingredients of almost every library in Finland,
everything woven around a unique theme depending on the history and influence of the library.

Libraries spend lots of sums in acquiring books, games, DVD’s, Blu-rays, videos and cd’s
especially targeted for the youth as they form the promising customer segment for today and
tomorrow. Saarenkylä library which is located in the quiet and peaceful suburb of Rovaniemi city
is facing an acute problem where the youth are / teenage population is not visiting the library
and using its services resulting in ‘lost customer segment’.

The problem observed in the target organization is effective space planning and utilization in the
youth section of Saarenkylä city library. The staff has brought forward this important concern
which needs immediate attention in order not to lose its dynamic customer segment – the youth!
Space is limited but needs to be revamped according to the youth demand and inclination
keeping in mind the resources available / budget of the library.

The possible solution is derived via inspection and analysis of the space available, comparison
with the main city library, specific questionnaire (open and closed ended questions) for the
school children of four nearby schools (around 270) in its vicinity and interviews of library
personnel. Based on these parameters, a solution plan is devised and presented to the
management of Saarenkylä branch and also to the main city library.

KEYWORDS:

Youth, libraries, space planning, customer segment.


OPINNÄYTETYÖ (YAMK) | TIIVISTELMÄ
TURUN AMMATTIKORKEAKOULU

International Business Management

2015 | 75

Ohjaaja: Laura Heinonen

Dinesh Narula

TILASUUNNITTELU NUORISOLLE ROVANIEMEN


SAARENKYLÄN KIRJASTOSSA

Kirjastot ovat aina olleet jokaisen henkilökohtaisen ja ammatillisen kehityksen rakennuspalikka


ja ovat sitä edelleen. Suomessa melkein jokaisessa kylässä on kirjasto ja paljon rahaa on
käytetty niiden perustamiseen, niiden tehokkaaseen toimintaan, kehittämiseen ja kasvamiseen.
Kirjastoissa on yleensä muun muassa lasten ja nuorten osasto, aikuistenosasto, lehtisali,
lukusali, musiikkiosasto, henkilökunta tilat ja kahvila (perus asiat) ja sen lisäksi kuullakin
paikkakunnalla on osasto jossa on heidän omia erityispiirteitä ja osaamista, kuten esimerkiksi
Lappi-osasto.

Kirjastot laittavat paljon rahaa kirjoihin, peleihin, musiikkiin, videoihin ja eri laiteisiin joita nuoret
yleensä käyttävät koska he ovat tulevaisuudessa kirjaston käyttäjiä. Rovaniemen Saarenkylän
kirjasto sijaitsee rauhallisella maakunnan alueella (Saarenkylä) ja siellä henkilökunta on
huomannut akuutin ongelman. Nuoret asiakkaat eivät käyttää kirjaston palveluita juuri lainkaan
ja siksi henkilökunta pelkkää, että he ovat menettäneet yhden tärkeimmästä
asiakassegmenteistään.

Kirjaston henkilökunnan kanssa olemme yhdessä havainneet että kirjaston nuoriso


tilasuunnitelma pitäisi olla tehokas jotta nuoret asiakkaat viihtyisivät. Ja näin ollen käyttäisivät
tiloja hyväkseen tehokkaasti ja jatkuvasti. Kaikki tämä pitäisi olla nuoriso halukkuuden ja
kirjaston varojen mukaista.

Ratkaisu on suunniteltu tutustumalla ja tarkistamalla kyseisiä tiloja. Tietoja on saatu tekemällä


asiakaskysely ja haastattelemalla kirjaston henkilökuntaa. Tehtyjen selvitysten ja analyysien
perusteella ehdotuksia on annettu sekä Saarenkylän kirjastolle että pääkirjastolle.

ASIASANAT:

Nuoret, kouluikäiset, murrosikäiset, tilasuunnittelu, pientilat, kirjastot, Rovaniemi.


CONTENT

LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS (OR) SYMBOLS 5

1 INTRODUCTION 6

2 INTEREST AND RESEARCH OBJECTIVES OF THE THESIS 9

3 LITERATURE REVIEW 12

4 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY 38

5 NEW KNOWLEDGE GENERATION 44

6 CONCLUSION AND ACHIEVEMENT OF RESEARCH OBJECTIVES 52

REFERENCES 61

APPENDICES

Appendix 1. Questionnaires

Appendix 2. Interviews
LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS (OR) SYMBOLS

YSA Yleinen suomalainen asiasanasto (Vesa 2014)

IL Information literacy
6

1 INTRODUCTION

Libraries have always been the building blocks of society. People from all walks
of life and various backgrounds find themselves via libraries. Why? – Libraries
hold information and knowledge needed in being and being called as ‘literate’
and ‘civilized’. In Finland, the library culture is given prime importance as almost
every county and city has one or many libraries at its disposal. People take pro-
found pride in their own library and regard them as part of their existence.

Information Literacy (IL): Every day we are all bombarded by tons of information
emerging from various directions (Data smog), the effect of which many of us
simply refuse to go with the trend as it is found next to impossible to be abreast
with all the emerging trends and modifications in the world which we call as our
own. IL skills are those skills which provide us with the necessary tools and fa-
miliarize us with the technology that is used thereby providing us with the solu-
tions in the form of information that is reliable and trustworthy. IL skills are
needs because of data smog that begun in the 21st century and this concern is
important and needs to be addressed and handled right at the grass root level:
taught in the schools teaching the students how to search and where to search
for information that is considered reliable and trustworthy that they can use in
their lifelong learning, for instance: Last year's IL theme is interactive learning
and the courses organized for the school children of various ages and from dif-
ferent classes in joint co-operation with various libraries all over the country.
Rovaniemi city library organized different kind of IL- themed courses such as:

1. For 3rd grade (9 year old) pupils: Library visits or short trips focusing on
getting acquaintance with the basic library services and its usage.

2. For 4th and 7th grade pupils: Advanced library ‘adventure’ trips for 4th and
7th grade pupils.

This theme of IL, according to me, is incredible as children are taught about re-
liable information sources as information network is vast and enormous in terms

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of new data and sources available and cropping in from various directions and
in various languages all the time.

Libraries would like to continue to play an active and dominant role in the life of
youth of today. This is the time where the youth (10 – 16 year olds) learn im-
portant ingredient of their lives: learning to be independent and think as an indi-
vidual. In this delicate process, libraries are one of the places which serve their
purpose. It is this place that takes them away from home and school while con-
tinuing in instilling the sense of being independent. During this phase, the youth
do not crave for games such as Wii, Xbox, PlayStation, etc. but rather a sense
of quietness which gives them the freedom to discover themselves while read-
ing, completing assignments individually or in small groups, being on their own
but yet confident and gathering strength to be sure and inquisitive at the same
time.

The concept of youth center has always been the core areas of the cultural cen-
ter of almost any city / place in Finland. This concept dates back in 1940s, even
earlier than this, the concept of ‘gathering places’ (seurantalo) was known. Their
metamorphosis came from gathering places, to youth organsiastions, youth
centers, youth café, youth workshops (Lehtonen 2013, p.13.) Keeping in the
mind, the recently constructed state-of-the-art Kaisa House / Kaisa talo, where
the facilities are made top-notch keeping in mind the youth segment’s group
work needs and also individual study needs (Kaisa House 2012, p. 46.) This
research also tries to find out if the youth still crave for their ‘own’ place in the
libraries in this modern technological age.

The libraries are the building blocks and are often regarded as the cultural pil-
lars of the city. Keeping this in mind, it would really be a major achievement in
reviving the youth department of the library: be it the entertainment aspect of
the space, the group work space, the privacy feature and indeed the vibrancy of
the colors.

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This thesis builds its theme on this background and strongly intends to answer
some of the key questions on an important target group – the youth, and its im-
pact on Saarenkylä branch of Rovaniemi city library.

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2 INTEREST AND RESEARCH OBJECTIVES OF THE


THESIS

Library culture has always fascinated me for the sheer sense of knowledge and
its unique customer service culture, which is informative and encouraging.
Hence I approached my city library, Rovaniemi, to discover business trends and
opportunities in this information and knowledge hub. After a couple of brain-
storming sessions with personnel from various departments such as Head of
Music section (Mr. Marko Niemelä), Head of communications (Ms. Seija
Ålander) and the Director of the library (Ms. Salla Erho), I couldn’t find some
specific business-related research question in these departments. Hence, I ap-
proached the smaller but incredibly active Saarenkylä branch of Rovaniemi city
library. I discussed the topic with Head of the library (Mr. Seppo Ylijurva) and he
expressed a serious concern which has been affecting the branch as they are
acutely losing one of their important customer segments – the youth!

Mr. Ylijurva enlightened me with the facts that the youth visiting and being in the
library has reduced considerably and expressed serious concern on this falling
customer segment. It could be many reasons such as: not getting that ‘homely’
and ‘cozy’ feeling, the place being inadequate in meeting their concerns, and so
on. We had various assumptions and hence decided to research this topic and
assist in falling business opportunity of Saarenkylä city library’s youth section.

The research objectives outlined are as follows:

- To find out and understand the main cause of reducing / diminishing


youth customers (aged 10 – 16 years old) in Saarenkylä branch of
Rovaniemi city library,

- To understand the needs and wants of the youth residing in the vicinity of
Saarenkylä (Saarenkylä, Syväsenvaara, and Nivavaara regions of
Rovaniemi),

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Map of Saarenkylä, Rovaniemi (The library is highlighted in yellow in the


center)

- To understand of the current space utilization and design of the youth


section of Saarenkylä branch of Rovaniemi city library from the eyes of
the youth in question,

- To evaluate, plan, and accomplish revamping of space of the youth sec-


tion of Saarenkylä branch of Rovaniemi city library based on the feed-
back from the youth, thereby increasing the youth visits to the section in
question.

This research is divided into many processes: meeting with library personnel,
field work, analysis of the results, revision meetings with the personnel, co-
ordination with the thesis supervisor, and constant re-evaluation of the results.
The research can also witness last-minute suggestions and revisions along with

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entire pathway. The literature reviews for the research are decided in co-
ordination with the supervisor and is done alongside with other processes.

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3 LITERATURE REVIEW

Libraries are often seen from an art historical viewpoint: architecture and func-
tionality being the pillars and the guiding light (Aaltonen 2012, 11.). The princi-
ples of public libraries here in Finland and in the Nordic countries have been
greatly influenced by the American library style. Also, libraries are seen from
functionality point of view. The architecture usually observes the library and its
construction from aesthetical point of view but the user / library user rationally
sees it i.e. observes, appreciates and values the functionality aspect of the li-
brary. This has always been an issue of debate. However, Finland is known for
its clever inspiration and unique take on functionality. The exception holds true
in case of libraries as well. The internationally well-known, Finnish architect
brought this unique feature of functionality in his works, be it planning of the en-
tire city, as in the case of Rovaniemi city architecture, innovatively designed by
Alvar Aalto in the shape of reindeer antlers or in the case of library as seen in
Rovaniemi city main library.

Rovaniemi city library:

The Rovaniemi library was completely destroyed during the war and only one
book was found in 1944 in the school yard. Hence, it is referred as the pearl
(“Helmi” – Figure 1) (Ekman 2014).

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Figure 1. This is called ‘Helmi’ (pearl). This book was the only book left after the
war in 1944 and was found in the school yard.

The library comprises of Aalto Sali, lending department, taidesali downstairs (for
music and video), lehtisali (newspapers and reading room), viisasten kivi, taika-
kehä ja satu huone, the youth section consisting on music and PlayStation,
meeting room, research room and last but not the least, the Lapland Depart-
ment. There was a coffee shop which is closed now and converted to the youth
section. There are of course, the usual services such as copying, converting
VHS to DVDs, internet browsing nodes and lending automats.

Rovaniemi city library is now a part of the Lapin kirjasto (Lapland library) net-
work comprising of 15 libraries and Lapin ammattiopisto libraries. Amongst all
these libraries, Rovaniemi city library is the biggest. Rovaniemi library has cele-
brated 150 glorious years (Vuontisjärvi, 11) since it was first established way

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back in 1860 and the Sami library in 1990. The Rovaniemi main city library was
designed by Alvar Aalto from 1961-1965 (Figure 2).

Figure 2. Rovaniemi main City Library.

The library has an antique colonnade and a fan-shaped section in the main ele-
vation. The essential characteristics of the library are the usage of indirect natu-
ral light in combination with exceptionally wide range of special light fixtures.
The fan-shaped section has large top windows (Figure 3) and several smaller
top windows and skylights are spread throughout the building.

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Figure 3. Unique light settings and large windows designed by Alvar Aalto.

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The library at the entrance has a beautiful display of various coat of arms
‘vaakuna’ of various districts included in Lapland (Figure 4).

Figure 4. The various coat of arms (Vaakuna).

The library as at least ten new types of light fitting and also part of the furniture
and light fittings are standard models of Artek (Figure 5).

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Figure 5. Alvar Aalto’s unique design on entrance doors of the library.

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The Lapland department / Lapponica:

The Lapponica Hall consists of Lapland department and art exhibition center.
This exhibition is however not just limited to Lapland alone as it could be from
all over Finland (Figure 6 and 7).

Figure 6. Lapland department.

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Figure 7. The Lapland department (exhibition hall and library section).

The hall at its entrance has information leaflets on Lapland, articles and maga-
zines on issues concerning Lapland and its history such as gold panning, the
Laestadian movement in Lapland. As we go further, we immediately notice The
Sami special collection (Figure 8) includes 8000 titles (including rare books)
emphasizing on Finnish Sami, Inari, Skolt and Northern Sami.

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Figure 8. The Sami collection.

This Sami specialist library works in co-operation with Sami libraries, Sami or-
ganizations and other Sami actors – participating in partnership ventures that
promote Sami language and culture in Lapland and rest of Finland. Its main
task is to acquire and maintain a Sami language and Sami-themed collection. It
is responsible for registering Finnish Sami language publications with the na-
tional bibliography service. It is responsible for Finland’s contribution to the joint
Scandinavian bibliography work concerning the Sami, thus achieving a common
cross-border Sami bibliography covering four nations as the principal goal of
this partnership. The Sami collection of the Lapland department is one of the
biggest in Scandinavia. Lapponica database has information on this collection.
Lapponica also houses Lapland department collections (Northern specialist li-
brary) of Rovaniemi city library, the information service and network library ser-

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vice. The department provides expert regional information service including re-
plies to queries online with “Ask about Lapland” service which is maintained by
Lapland’s libraries, research facilities and museums.

Saarenkylä branch of Rovaniemi city library:

Since there is no documented literature showcasing the beginning of Saarenky-


lä branch of Rovaniemi city library, Seppo Ylijurva, who is the branch Head of
the library, enlightened me with the facts that the branch was opened in 1975
together with the functioning of three separate entities under one building: it had
library, child health center (Neuvola) and Dental clinic. Then in 1996, after reno-
vation, the space of the child health center was handed over to the library sec-
tion thereby providing the extension for library. This extension now serves as
child and youth section and the newspaper hall of the branch. (Figure 9) (Figure
10 a & b)

Figure 9. Saarenkylä library.

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Figure 10 a. General Layout plan of Saarenkylä library.

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Figure 10 b. General Layout plan (children and youth department marked in


yellow).

Youth department of Saarenkylä:

The youth department of Saarenkylä shares the hall space with the reading
room, exhibition hall and the children’s section. The youth section is on the right
side whereas the children’s section is on the left side. Here the game playing
area is included in the children’s section unlike in the main city library it is in-
cluded in the youth section.

The current situation of the youth department is that it consists of two areas:
sofa area and the other is the web browsing area. The entire area consists of
three book shelves which can be dismantled into smaller portions as per the
need and space requirement (Figure 11 a & b).

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Figure 11 a. Youth department of Saarenkylä library.

Figure 11 b. Youth department of Saarenkylä library .

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The sofa area consists of an old black sofa with a center table and a rest chair
(Figure 11 c) whereas the computer browsing area consists of a computer sta-
tion with a chair along with a small round table with three chairs (Figure 11 d).

Figure 11 c. Youth department of Saarenkylä library.

Figure 11 d. Youth department of Saarenkylä library.

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This area almost goes unnoticed to visitors as it is ‘hidden’ via the ‘dominating’
book shelves. This concern is one of the hindering factors that make the de-
partment unnoticed and uninviting. This concern I want to address in the con-
clusion of my work. Also, at the moment there are no kitchen aided appliances
such as small refrigerator or a microwave oven.

Evolution of libraries and space utilization:

It is very important to reflect the past, present and the future in the world of li-
braries. It is equally important to pay attention to the minutest details in the
landmark trends in library design, the usage of innovative furniture such as ta-
bles and chairs and the trends in service design. Also, it is equally important to
learn about information literacy in the context of learning and how the infor-
mation literacy plays an important role in libraries today. Also, since my topic is
closely connected with the youth and the impact on their learning, their usage of
technology and the impact of surroundings on the youth.

In the western civilization, the history of libraries is often associated with monas-
teries. Slowly it accessed and stretched its wings to the universities where sev-
eral modifications and amendments took place. The most functional ground
plan was a rectangular space consisting of a façade and many windows. There
were cubicles comprising of fixed benches and desks (Aaltonen 2012, p.14-15.)

With the increase in the number of books and the universality of the libraries,
they were designed on a large scale by well-known architects for example Bibli-
otheca Laurenziana in Florence by Michelangelo. With the increase in the num-
ber of books, the usually long rectangular space was expanded: the height of
the reading rooms / library halls was increased to accommodate the book-
shelves and more wall space. By 1809, the reading and writing room libraries
were evolved into decorative storage rooms but at the turn of 18 th and 19th cen-
turies, the need for functionality and fire protection were recognized. Leopoldo

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Santa presented modern library structure comprising of reading room, cata-


logue room, room for library assistants and the librarian, catalogue room and
storage room for ordinary and rare books all in a rectangular structure in his
1816 publication.

Slowly the libraries became more familiar with the general public which pre-
sented the demand for public libraries which were clearly different in compari-
son with scientific libraries and where the common man / public could find
something of their interest. In the US, it was suggested that public libraries
should be located within the community (as mention by Sievänen-Allen in Aal-
tonen 2012, p.22). In the earlier days, the funding body governed via their
guidelines as to how the library buildings should be as seen in Carnegie founda-
tion which funded 2509 library projects. Here too, the rectangle structure came
into prominence called as ‘Carnegie rectangles’ and the functionality was estab-
lished via furniture’s and not via walls. Here, the librarian’s desk was located in
the center of the hall. The ground floor consisted of an art exhibition hall, audito-
rium and a lecture room. By 1912, an open ground plan started to become a
norm removing the obstacle between the reader and the reading material (Aal-
tonen 2012, p.22-24.)

At the Finnish front:

In the Finnish society, the rich and the affluent upper class were absent that
could build monumental libraries. However, the first public library was built in
1840: The Helsinki University public library, under the reign of Russian emperor
Nicolas I. It was Carl Ludwig Engel’s plan of having Helsinki University along
with library as part of the town plan. It comprised of three rectangular spaces, a
cupola structure in the center and Corinthian pillars supporting the balconies
and a gallery formed by bookshelves and balconies circling the room (Aaltonen
2012, p.26-27.)

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The 18th century witnessed the up sprung for the need for libraries since the
reading interest increased amongst the citizens of Finland. The contributor to
this movement was the pioneer in the field of library – Kaarle Werkko. In the
earlier times, there used to be small bookcases in the classroom serving as li-
brary for school children (Aaltonen 2012, p.29-33.)

In the Nordic countries, Helsinki library was the first built public library, although
its roots date back to 1882 but slowly metamorphosis took place in the public
library scene. Room plans received many make-overs to make the place func-
tional. Even as of today, reading rooms play a central role in the library premis-
es and its activities. Helsinki university library as the National library serves an
extraordinary and a dynamic task preserving and maintaining databases in the
form of books, newspapers, electronic media such as radio and television pro-
grams, microfilming and its transfer, manuscripts, etc. thereby playing the role
of a cultural ambassador for the generations in the past and for the future gen-
erations to come (Bibliotheca Academica 2001, p.91.) Slowly and steadily the
library culture gained momentum and got established all over Finland, in nearby
cities and towns and slowly all over.

Library designs:

Reading rooms always occupied the central stage in libraries premises and ac-
tivities. Butterfly-models are quite common, where the book shelves fan-out
making it easy to perform surveillance in the lending room. The reading rooms
have always been given prime importance: reading rooms for adults, children’s
reading rooms, storytelling rooms, newspapers reading rooms. According to
American library association in 1914, the floor plan had a lending department,
two reading halls, open shelves, book stacks, children’s reading room, and an
office. This plan was also given to Helsinki city library director Uno Therman

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(Aaltonen 2012, p.117.) Libraries are often remembered by their designs and
effective and clever utilization of space / hall. The hall is generally a space be-
sides the entrance door and beyond this space; it is an intermediate area /
room. In certain cases, objects are placed into space in order to distinguish
such as positioning of a carpet denotes that the space is a living room (Taylor,
ed., 2013, p.43.) Libraries all over the world are known for the majestic and vivid
display of Hall and the way that space is distributed according to various func-
tional aspects.

All over Finland, libraries are uniquely designed possessing or rather showcas-
ing the inspiration of the architect as in the case of Rovaniemi city library, de-
signed by the famous architect Alvar Aalto in 1966 as a fan-shaped hall where
sunlight or light emits via the tall windows and these windows are placed above
the bookshelves. The inspiration and the functionality aspect of the architect
can also be observed via Seinäjoki library plan where the noisy children’s sec-
tion and the reading section are located on opposite ends. In order to create the
effect and feeling of spaciousness in libraries, especially the main hall, patterns
such as recesses and solid wall book-shelves are used as in the case of Kuopio
library, Rovaniemi, and Kittilä libraries to name a few. Also as in seen in Viipuri
library, excellent and an intelligent use of two rectangles are used (Aaltonen
2012, p.83, 106-114.)

Libraries and the designer’s inspiration are seen in library designs across Fin-
land. Location and the modernism often go hand in hand. The works of Alvar
Aalto on the other hand uses geographical locations and regional characters in
his design: the plan of Rovaniemi city is in the shape of reindeer antlers and
reindeer being the prominent character in Lapland. Some architects take inspi-
ration from the surrounding landscape, whereas some take light as their source
of inspiration in designing the library. Some libraries such as the Helsinki Töölö
library’s reading section has a park in front of it whereas the Kulosaari branch
had other services such as children’s daycare center, clinic and a school asso-
ciated with the library. Certain libraries have carved a niche such as the Kouvo-
la library designed by Juhani Kivikoski, projects the library as a closed tall struc-

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ture which has small glass perforations on the roof for light to enter beautifully
inside the library. The inside of the library is very practical in its ground plan as
the planning is done in such a manner that it given quite an open and spacious
feeling (Aaltonen 2012, p.118-123.)

The customers of the library are taken into account in different perspectives for
instance in some libraries, the children’s department is furnished in a subdued
manner. In Saarenkylä, for instance, the children’s department occupies lot
more space and facilities as compared to the youth section. On the other hand,
children’s department in Ylivieska has a fireplace providing a warm and cozy
atmosphere to its visitors, especially during story telling sessions in the library
during the dark, cold winter months (Aaltonen 2012, p.126-127.)

The modernism aspects and the consumer-centered approach can also be


seen in the world of libraries as right from the 80s one can notice the upsurge in
creativity and functionality of library services, which still continues to be posi-
tioned at the helm of the agenda. Examples can be seen in the case of Jyväsky-
lä main library as in the 1980, it was the biggest public library in Finland i.e.
around 200 new libraries were built during the 80s. The consumer-centered ap-
proach were seen much before the 80s as libraries were first associated with
museums, then slowly, with children’s school and now with shopping malls as in
the case of Espoo’s Leppavaara library located in the premises of Sello shop-
ping mall in 2003. In Turku library’s case, beautiful extension is made i.e. the
old library and the new library stand together in 2007, a commercial bank locat-
ed in conjunction with the main library in the case of Nummi-Pusula (Aaltonen
2012, p.174-177.) The appearance of the construction too holds an important
place i.e. if the place radiates an uncomfortable or a shabby reflection where
the entrance or the area is not clearly marked, that puts offs the customers. In
some cases this results in lost customer segments as majority of them are ei-
ther unaware of the facilities or put down by the shabby / overstocked appear-
ance of the area in question (Maurer & Weeks 2010, p. 24).

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The Kaisa House:

The Kaisa House marks the landmark in architectural history of libraries. It was
inaugurated in 2012 and it is University of Helsinki’s main library building. The
infrastructure of teaching is developed in such a way that it will bring 50 leading
universities of the world with the University of Helsinki. Needless to mention, it
houses state of the art technology and hi-end expertise both the educational
and the pedagogical point of view (Kaisa House 2012, p. 11.)

The 15-year long project comprises of tedious task of merging 160 separate
libraries and book collections into single body of five service units, each of
which having a distinct faculty of expertise. The services are multi-dimensional
ranging from city library, library management, general library services with
American Resource Center and the info counter of Library of Statistics being as
service providers. There are indeed other occupants as different faculties which
were located in 10 separate locations with users featuring from all walks of
learning, teachers, researchers, information seekers, all making a total of 1 mil-
lion visits per year and around 2.5 million undergraduate loans per year. The
shelf-space is about 30,000 meters. The helping hand is also provided by the
National Library of Finland in digitalization services to students and researchers.
The library has over 800 different reading places and around 136 ATK-places /
computer stations and search stations. The library will continue to evolve during
the 2020s and 2030s. The house is of a modern international caliber where for
every task, places are designed accordingly: group work and individual study.
(Kaisa House 2012, p. 25, 40, 46.)

Information Literacy:

According to Finnish Ministry of Education (4:2000), there are nine dimensions


of Information literacy. These help the individual in the growing years to be in-

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formation literate and make use of the available technology in an effective man-
ner. They are:

- Visual information literacy: The eyes are the windows to the mind. The
person learns via sight through various media and what takes place in
the surroundings.

Television information literacy: It relates with information gained via


watching television: the art of viewing television, the science behind it
and the ways of viewing television. It deals with the abilities to perceive
visual cues and audio cues to perceive and access the information simul-
taneously and also manage the language accessing capabilities of the
individual.

Computer information literacy: This dimension deals with the ability to


comprehend the tasks behind the term ‘computer’, its mechanisms and
technical accomplishments.

Intervention information literacy: This dimension deals with the capabili-


ties to comprehend various types of texts, their styles and the way /
manner the texts are spoken and their differences.

Technological information literacy: This dimension generally covers that


the individual can handle and understand everyday technological appli-
cations in a manner that the individual can survive and face various day
to day challenging situations.

Multi information literacy: This dimension generally deals with the com-
prehension of foreign languages and the processing of information in for-
eign languages.

- Media information literacy: This dimension reflects the various means via
which media conveys information to us both on individual level and envi-
ronmental level.

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Internet information literacy: This is a wide dimension that demands not


just technical literacy but also a strong basic information literacy. It in-
cludes many aspects such as reliability, net-etiquette, net behavior, eth-
ics, functionality aspect, and dependability amongst many others (Koulu
kirjastossa 2000, p. 58–59.)

Information literacy is actively seen and practiced in libraries today in Finland.


This can be witnessed in libraries in the form of ‘search-and-find’ exercises per-
formed in libraries with 4th grade and 7th grade pupils with the assistance of
teachers and library personnel. These exercises encourage the youth to under-
stand the importance of libraries in imparting information, in encouraging them
to diversify their interests on various topics and be aware of the various depart-
ments, in assisting them with the search tool of the library via the internet and
instilling in their young minds – the interest, motivation, necessity and above all
the importance of library and information.

Small spaces and its furniture:

Japan is one of the leading innovative examples where limited space is innova-
tive utilized via its simplicity and practicality approach. Compactness and flexi-
bility have been the key components and the foundations of Japanese design.
The examples can be seen in motorcycles, sound systems, modems, alarm ra-
dios. The concepts of today are emphasized on comfort, elimination and con-
cealment (Brown 1996, p.9-11.)

When unnecessary objects are removed or placed in a way that creates space:
nothingness – enough space to move about thereby enabling the elimination of
certain objects, the place proves to be non-claustrophobic, uncluttered and well
lit (Brown 1996, p.13.) In order to make the most out of small spaces, one factor
that deserves attention is the layout of the area in question. The layout includes
that various areas of the space are defined and their interconnection. For this
imagination and visualization is of utmost beneficial. The separation of privacy

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with living space should not be so solidly in a way that privacy ends up in some
sort of compartments. This same idea can be used in the laying out the floor
plan of the youth department of Saarenkylä branch (Brown 1996, p.21.)

People generally have this urge or habit to find their personal space even in
public spaces such as library. This personal space is widest at the front while at
the back and sides it is narrow. Many students develop a kind of favoritism to
their specific space / place and hence they leave something like a ‘mark’ or a
‘drawing’ that signifies their longing for that space / place (Cohen & Cohen
1979, p.19-20.)

The furniture used in libraries speaks volumes to its customers: comfort, securi-
ty and at the same time does not remind them of being at home i.e. ‘homely’ but
not the same as being at home. The chair is usually seen in the light of changes
in society. In spite of its main function is to sit, some chairs are designed for
specific purpose for example the chair of a boss is separate from that of a re-
ceptionist (Fiell 2002, p. 7-10.) Revolutionary and vibrant models most often are
‘show stoppers’ and grab the attention and become instant favorite amongst the
classy and the masses alike for example, the ‘egg chair’ model by Arne Jacob-
sen in 1957 and ‘ball or globe chair’ model by Eero Aarnio in 1932 (Fiell 2002,
p. 84,93.) The sofa models form a range of comfort and trendy appeal especial-
ly in public spaces such as libraries and are considered instant favorites such
as ‘Suzanne seat’ by Kazuhide Takahama, ‘Malitte seating system’ by Roberto
Matta in 1966 and trendy bean-bag seating arrangements such as ‘Fatboy’ in
2002 and ‘Sacco chair’ by Franco Teodoro in 1968 (Fiell 2002, p.96, 99,106.)

Sofa has always remained a place to feel comfortable and relaxed with group of
friends and family. Sofa brings people together where they can enjoy them-
selves and have a conversation. It exhibits coziness, comfortability, a place to
exhibit hospitality towards guests and friends, and also a chance for the owner
to show self-sufficiency to the guests and visitors (Sarantola-Weiss, ed. 1999, p.
142.)

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Service design and its trends:

According to the UK Design Council 2010, ‘service design is all about making
the service you deliver useful, usable, efficient, effective and desirable.’

(Stickdorn & Schneider 2010, p31). This concept of service design was out
looked before as only product design dominated the minds of the general pub-
lic. Service design is a young area of expertise which is slowly evolving as the
needs diversify and the importance of services is better understood, valued and
appreciated. Here the basic tools are inherited from other fields and disciplines.
Services do not exist as a separate entity / in isolation but rather they are net-
worked in socio-cultural systems and also contexts. In some places, we are the
service providers whereas in some, we play the role of service users. For ex-
ample – while booking a holiday service comprises of many nested phases
which ultimately help in realizing the entire journey. This concept is service de-
sign thinking can be applicable to public services such as libraries as well (Miet-
tinen & Valtonen, ed. 2013, p.167.)

According to Birgit Mager, the service design process constitutes of four phases
namely the research phase, creation phase, the appraisal phase and the appli-
cation phase. Here, a lot of emphasis on based on getting the customer’s expe-
rience. This is done via various methods such as interviews, surveys, question-
naires, ‘mystery shopping’, and feedback from the personnel and their insights
(Miettinen, ed., 2011, p. 99-102.) The design process itself does not limit to a
certain area of functionality but it takes into account the wholeness of the sys-
tem. Concrete and radical ideas take place when the user / customer / the tar-
get group for whom the services are being designed are involved in the process
of service planning, development and in application of the ideas (Miettinen, ed.
2014, p.85-86.) The customer takes the central role in the service design pro-
cess as the customer is always an important part of the process. The custom-
er’s experience is indeed subjective and it is difficult to know as to what
thoughts are in the customer’s mind. Hence, the target of service design pro-

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36

cess is to optimize the customer’s experience. This can be enhanced by effec-


tive communication with the customers, feedbacks in relation with the service
design process, discovering the hindrances in the process and removing them
effectively. All these steps help in enhancing the customer’s experience in the
service design process. The customers feel valued since their feedbacks are
not simply acknowledged but also worked upon thereby delivering positive ex-
periences for the customers (Tuulaniemi 2011, p. 26.)

Youth :- Technology and surroundings:

The youth of today are more networked and they are aware of the technological
advancements than the youth of the 90s. They use and plan their daily timeta-
ble based on their favorite television programs and they organize them via
emails and cell phones. The media culture holds its own place in the minds and
hearts of the youth as compared to their homes and schools. In the schools, the
youth have restricted use of media. Hence, places like streets, youth centers
and their personal spaces are these unique places that provide the youth with
the necessary ‘freedom’ that they need to find themselves and build their identi-
ties (Kangas & Kuure ed. 2003, p.30.) According to Lee Rainie, the youth have
a different information ecosystem and have different priorities when it comes to
the usage of library services. They are connected to friends / buddies, family
and others round the clock through social networks and digital services. But
often it is seen that the youth use the library services for school related work or
doing homework but beyond that is missing. This void or lack results in fewer
opportunities for the youth to link with the resources that support personal
growth. Also in the future (2020), the youth would be more responsive and ef-
fectively display multitasking abilities and would be able to collectively search
information via various resources. The results will be positive due to the chang-
ing learning behavior and cognition among the youth (Braun, 2014, p.5.) The
facilities play a crucial role in learning and hence the contemporary libraries are

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designed accordingly consisting of group study spaces, computer laboratories


and cafes. These offer intentional learning possibilities for the youth in the librar-
ies (Bennett, 2008, p. 9.)

The youth is a tender but yet dominant age which shapes the character of the
person. During this age, the young are subjected to various media, various so-
cio-cultural activities, they are in transition between two age groups: the child-
hood and adulthood. The children are supervised during their leisure activities
by their parents but when they step into the youth, this structured leisure is
moved to independent activities lead or dominated by peer-based as they are
more into common activities / group activities involving peers / friends since dur-
ing this age marks the onset of intimate relationships and the youth are also
gaining independence financially as they start earning some income (Cieslik &
Simpson 2013, p.62.) This give the youth the need to be somewhere which is
not home nor school but rather places like library, youth organizations and
these group activities form, shape and influence the person’s behavior, thinking
and teaches them new ways of looking at things. The youth seek out-of-home
leisure activities and this is getting popular not just in Western Europe but also
in the east. Important technological gadgets have already gaining importance
throughout east and the west and hold an important place in the youth’s minds
(Puuronen ed. 2001, p.18.) Often in small villages, certain places always hold
importance and become like a ‘ritual’ that spans generations: be it going to a
certain school, or organization and these places then get the tag of a ‘local’
place. These can be youth organizations, local libraries, local festivities and tra-
ditions which pass from one generation to the next. These hold collective value
and dominance amongst the local residents (Hoikkala & Paju 2013, p. 107.)
Thinking of local libraries on these tracks, the libraries hold great importance for
the youth and their collective group activities and belonging to the local society.

It would be interesting to note the results via questionnaires as to what is de-


sired amongst the youth and if this nature of group work and collectively ‘hang-
ing out’ place still holds an important place amongst the youth as it did in the
earlier days.

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4 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

Defining the core problem is not always easy especially at the problem formulat-
ing stage (Kananen 2011.) In this research, I want to find out the answers to the
questions that dwell on the current trends and the needs of the youth. My sub-
ject groups are specific: the youth, aged from 11 to 16 years of age. The focus
of attention is also specific: Youth section of Saarenkylä branch of Rovaniemi
city library. The idea is to find out what the youth of today like or favor in the
library, what is / are the reasons behind the declining importance of library in the
hearts and minds of the youth, what are the preventive measures that the library
staff can be or provide the youth so that their visits would increase in the library
and they could enjoy being in the library after their school or on weekends. The
library staff wants them to feel themselves comfortable and feel welcomed in
their very own nearby library.

In order to achieve the answers to all the above questions, I decided, after con-
sultations with the Saarenkylä’s library staff, to prepare a closed–ended ques-
tionnaire targeted at the youth of the nearby schools or located in the vicinity of
the library in question. This questionnaire has a character: it does not primarily
intend to find the numerical survey but rather intends to dig up the relevant ob-
jections that are imposed or suggested by the students. Every answered ques-
tionnaire would provide valuable insights to the library staff in improving the
youth space in the Saarenkylä library. Hence, it would not base its final analysis
solely on number / quantity but further investigate the possible reasons for the
decline in the number of visits to the library.

The detailed research plan for the thesis is mentioned in the Gantt chart (en-
closed in references / bibliography). Visits to four schools were made and re-
search permission was obtained by Mervi Pöykiöniemi, person in-charge for
handling Education Services / Koulutuspalvelut in Rovaniemi city (Figure 12).

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Figure 12. Research permission granted / tutkimuslupa myönnety!

The research was backed up via personnel interviews from main city library and
Saarenkylä branch.

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(See Gantt chart)

The target group:

The questionnaire is targeted on the youth: students from 5th grade to 10th
grades of four nearby schools are sent questionnaires. They have not been told
about the person doing this research. The idea behind this is to get as honest
unbiased answers as possible. The ideal group was the students from the 7th
grade until the 10th grade. However, we decided to include the 5th and 6th grade
as well.

Since almost all the grades have at least two divisions, we decided to take one
each from every grade of each of the four schools. The four schools are as fol-
lows:

- Saaren School (ala-aste / primary school): 5th and 6th grades: at least 50
questionnaires supplied (Ala-aste, 2014).

- Syväsenvaara School (ala-aste / primary school): 5th and 6th grades: at


least 40 questionnaires supplied,

- Nivavaara School (ala-aste / primary school): 5th and 6th grades: at least
50 questionnaires supplied

- Napapiiri School (ylä-aste / junior high school): 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th
grades: at least 80 questionnaires supplied (Ylä-aste, 2014).

Total number of questionnaires expected: 220.

All these above mentioned schools are located in close proximity of the subject
(Saarenkylä library). Hence we decided to include all these schools as the loca-
tion could be one of the determining factors responsible to our research ques-
tions.

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Research method:

The research method that I am applying here is qualitative as my research


questions are what? and how? (As mentioned by Töttö (2000, 75) in Kananen
2011, 35). This research aims at tapping an unknown area. Also the aim is to
gather deep understanding in relation with the reasons for library visits and its
usage habits by the youth near Saarenkylä library. above all, this research aims
at providing insightful suggestions on how to design the library space according
to the needs and wants of the youth residing near Saarenkylä library (as men-
tioned by Trochim and Donelly (2008) in Kananen 2011, 41). Hence this re-
search inclines more on the qualitative aspect of research. This research can be
thought of as ‘a development process’ (Action research) as it wants to change
the face of the youth department of Saarenkylä library from what it is as of today
(Kananen 2011, 34). After analyzing the answers of the questionnaires and the
personal interviews of the city library staff (youth section and in general), this
research aims at answering or providing a further investigative argument as to
why the youth are not using the services or not visiting the library. Hence it at-
tempts to answer to some extent to the question why, which is a feature of qual-
itative research. Hence this research method is mainly qualitative research
method. However, the data received via the answered questionnaires pro-
vide numerical values.

Data Collection:

The data collection for this research takes place via questionnaires drafted with
the co-operation of the staff of Saarenkylä city library:

- Mr. Seppo Ylijurva: Head of the Saarenkylä branch

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- Ms. Minttu Luomala: Person in-charge of the youth section of Saarenkylä


branch.

The questionnaires are delivered in person to the principals of the four schools
in question before the Christmas break.

Questionnaire:

The questionnaire is drafted in a simple, easy to understand manner, and is


short. The questionnaire fits in one A4 sheet paper (Ariel font, font size 12). The
language is Finnish (refer Appendix 1 on page 65). However, it is drafted in
English as well (refer Appendix 1 on page 66). The questionnaire has been
drafted carefully to include closed ended questions / dichotomous questions
akin to structured questions that have limited number of alternatives and also
that it aims at seeking information on these alternatives only (Kananen 2011,
55.) The reason behind this assumes the facts that youth of this age group gen-
erally do not wish to spend more time on answering questions or giving feed-
back if the questionnaire is more than one page in length and if it has lots of
open-ended questions. The questionnaire mentions in its heading in bold, the
subject: Improvement suggestions for the youth section of Saarenkylä library.
Although, in the end, there is one field where they can freely write their com-
ments and also use the back side of the paper, if they intend to do so.

The questions are designed keeping in mind the youth section of Rovaniemi
main city library, for example – the main city library’s youth section has their
own coffee machine, Fatboy relaxing beanbags, privacy, separate table and
chairs, a refrigerator and a microwave. Hence the questions are put forward in a
direct manner to get the replies as straightforward as possible. The question-
naire begins with the basic information section such as grade, age and sex. It is
then followed by the visiting habits of the youth: once a week, once a month or
rarely and if the answer is ‘yes’, then question is applied to its youth section. It

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then focuses on the borrowed material: books, games, newspapers, music,


movies and comics. It then places forward one of the main questions of the re-
search: reason for visiting the youth section or the Saarenkylä library in general.
The options mentioned are: to loans books, etc., to complete homework; to
meet friends, to read, to play or to simply spend time. The next important ques-
tion is the comparison question (with the main city library): the things that the
youth would want in the youth section of Saarenkylä library – privacy, refrigera-
tor, microwave, coffee machine, vibrant colors, sofa, Fatboy, anything else. The
options for each of these (except for anything else) are either yes or no, which
the target group can simply tick mark as appropriate. The final question is put
forward in a straightforward manner: the readiness to frequently visit the youth
section of Saarenkylä library if these things were provided.

The second part of data collection is via two interviews conducted with person-
nel from Rovaniemi main city library and its Saarenkylä branch:

- Ms. Liisa Tastula: Person in-charge of the youth section of Rovaniemi


main city library (refer Appendix 2 on page 68).

- Mr. Seppo Ylijurva and Ms. Minttu Luomala: Personnel from Saarenkylä
branch (refer Appendix 2 on page 73).

The questions are mainly here open-ended in nature. The idea behind these
interviews is to get an insight as to what led to the redesigning of the youth de-
partment in the main library, how did the change - process take place, about the
final result in which it is as of today, any changes that were regretted / appreci-
ated i.e. criticism in relation to their youth department redesigning. The second
part of the interview is to get insights from the personnel of concerned place in
question i.e. Saarenkylä branch. This is quite relevant as these people have
actually observed and handled everyday work situations in the branch and are
more aware of the library usage habits of the youth visiting the Saarenkylä
branch.

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5 NEW KNOWLEDGE GENERATION

The analysis of the data consists of two parts: the questionnaire that was sub-
mitted to four nearby schools and the two interviews from the personnel of
Rovaniemi main city library.

The questionnaire’s findings and analysis:

The schools in the vicinity of the Saarenkylä library are:

(The striking features are highlighted in bold in the text below. These are high-
lighted as they could provide valuable insights for the management to formulate
and design their future library services for the pupils.)

- Saaren School: 5th and 6th grades – age group 11-12 years: The total
number of questionnaires answered were 63. An interesting differentia-
tion was tested amongst those who visited the library one time / week or
one time / month against those who visited rarely the library. The number
was 26 against 37. However, no contrasting difference was observed in
the preferences of the pupils: both the group’s lending behavior was
books and comics being the main lending material. The reasons for visit-
ing the library were mainly books lending, reading, spending time with
friends. The things desired were comfort and seating material: sofa and
Fatboy topped the list followed by privacy and then vibrant colors. How-
ever, an interesting difference was observed: those who visited rarely
desired vibrant colors in contrast with those who visited frequently as
they opted for kitchen electrical appliances such as coffee machine, wa-
ter-boiling machine, etc. A very interesting and useful feature of this
questionnaire was this space of providing additional comment where the

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45

students could mention those things that they found were actually miss-
ing in the Saarenkylä branch at the moment. From this school, additional
comments were: a place / facility where students could enjoy if they had
something to eat, a bigger space, a separate TV and PC, movie shows
for the youth, massage chair, table football, more fiction books, and
others preferences on books were from various themes like dragon,
horse, Manga, Goosebumps, Rick Riordan and also one of the striking
comments were to continue with the entire series: if the library starts
getting certain series which is available in parts, then only certain parts
were available and the others were missing.

Syväsenvaara School: 5th grade – age group: 11 – 12 years: The total


number of questionnaires answered were 37. Here too, the differentiation
was based on those visiting often against those visiting rarely. Here
books, papers, comics, games, music and movies were the main lending
material. The reasons for visiting were: loaning books, papers; reading;
meeting friends; spending time and doing homework in case of pupils
who visited frequently. In case of pupils who rarely visited the reasons
were: loaning books, papers; spending time; meeting friends; reading
and playing games. The things desired were again comfortable place to
sit i.e. sofa and Fatboy topped the charts followed by vibrant colors and
privacy. Here the additional comments section had suggestions like hap-
py faces, calming soothing music in the background, energetic posters or
peppy posters, more reading places, personal spaces with tables, qui-
et reading places, swing / suspension ropes.

- Nivavaara School: 5th and 6th grades – age groups: 10, 11 and 12
years: The total number of questionnaires answered were 41. The num-
ber of 12 years old was 22 followed by 11 years old (18) and one was 10
years old. Here the classification is tested based on the age groups as
against the based on visits in the previous two schools. Both in 11 and
12 years old pupil’s groups, the library visits were rarely as compared to
often. Books and comics topped for 11 years old group. The reasons for

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visiting the library were loaning books followed by reading for 11 years
old as compared to loaning books and playing games for 12 years old
group. The things that were desired here comfort meaning seating com-
fort and the ease to feel comfortable and be relaxed topped the charts
here i.e. sofa and Fatboy followed by privacy for 11 year olds whereas
practicality ranked for the 12 year olds i.e. the kitchen necessities (coffee
machine, water boiling machine, etc.). In the additional comments sec-
tion, some very good practical insights were brought up / suggested / de-
sired such as separate coat hanging stand for the youth department, ad-
ditional seating equipments such as chairs, hot chocolate machine,
more PCs, and wider spaces amongst shelves.

Generally the trend observed amongst girls was the inclination towards
vibrant colors for the 11 year olds whereas for the 12 year olds, girls
were inclined towards the need for privacy. Indeed, a general trend of se-
riousness in replying was observed amongst girls.

- Nivavaara Primary High School: 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th grades – age
groups 13 – 17 years: The total number of questionnaires answered
were 131. From the research point of view, this school was an ideal con-
tender as the focus of study mainly / primarily focusses on the youth and
the youth are mainly considered amongst those age groups that are no
longer children but not yet adults as well, hence the assumption would be
generally implied from the nature of youth would be those that have way
passed the stage of PC games and are getting or trying to get on the se-
rious side of getting control of their lives. There was no other school i.e.
primary high school in the vicinity of Saarenkylä branch. Hence this
school was the only option. As a result, the questionnaires handed over
to this school were considerably more in number. Hence the analysis is
done in detail based on each grade.

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a. 7th grade: age group: 13 years: The total number of question-


naires answered was 43. Here the majority visited the library
branch rarely as compared to once a month visitors. The items
loaned were mainly books, movies, comics, newspapers and
games. The reasons behind visits were loaning books, papers,
doing homework, spending time with friends, playing and read-
ing. The things desired by this group were comfort i.e. sofa,
Fatboy, kitchen equipments followed by privacy. In other com-
ments, interesting inputs were provided / desired in the form of
automat machines (snacks / sweets), more books in English,
reservation system whereby they could reserve the movie and
the time and visit in with their friends in an all exclusive movie
viewing experience, places where they could enjoy their own
meals, sound books and radio dock stations (earphone en-
abled) amongst others.

b. 8th grade: age group: 14 years: Here the total number of ques-
tionnaires answered was 44. The ‘rarely’ visitors outnumbered
the frequent ones by more than 50%. The items loaned were
books, movies, newspapers, comics and games. The reasons
for visiting the branch library were loaning books, papers, read-
ing, spending time with friends, doing homework and then play-
ing games. The things desired were again comfort ranking on
top i.e. sofa and Fatboy, followed by kitchen equipment, privacy
and colors. In the additional comments section, tablets, exercise
possibilities and karaoke were desired.

c. 9th grade: age group: 14 – 15 years: Here the total number of


questionnaires answered was 36. Again the rare visitors were
more in number than the frequent visitors. Books, movies, com-
ics, newspapers and games were the loan items here. The rea-
sons for the library visit were loaning books, papers, reading,
meeting friends, doing homework and spending time. The things

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48

desired were comfort and privacy followed by kitchen equip-


ments and vibrant colors. In other comments, quite practical and
basic needs were exhibited such as department being spacious
and the possibility to enjoy own meals in the premises
(making it warm, tables, chairs, and refrigerator) and a small ki-
osk were desired.

d. 10th grade: age group: 15 – 17 years: Here the total number of


questionnaires answered was 8. The number is small. However,
it could provide a very important insight to the library branch
personnel when they redesign the youth department. The num-
ber of young boys and young girls was approximately equal.
More than half loaned books, followed by movies, music and
games. The reasons behind the visit were loaning books, pa-
pers, followed by meeting friends and playing games. The
things desired were privacy, kitchen equipments such as mi-
crowave, refrigerator and comfort i.e. Fatboy. In other com-
ments, the desired items were a kiosk, drink – automat and a
TV for the youth department.

Analysis:

Almost all the pupils expressed their concern that they would frequent the de-
partment. From the above findings, inference can be made that privacy and
comfort ranks on the top priorities to be kept in mind while redesigning the youth
department of the Saarenkylä branch of Rovaniemi city library. The comparison
factor also contributes to these preferences as every student has visited the
main city library’s youth department and when they visit the Saarenkylä branch,
these comparisons result in desiring or wishing for things like small individual
tables and chairs (privacy), kitchen corner, and comfort (sofa and Fatboy).

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49

The above findings suggest a clear void in the design and services at the mo-
ment in the youth department. Because of the three overwhelming shelves, the
space is practically unknown to majority of the youth. But those who visit the
department have clearly expressed a longing for betterment. The focus of inter-
est has been pupils from the 9th and 10th grades and from their replies, it can be
inferred that the space should be clearly visible and not hidden. It should be
spacious and should have adequate privacy in order to do individual or group
work. The personnel should understand their demand and need for their own
space and visibility in the library so that the space is known and the services are
better utilized thereby increasing the visits to the library.

The interview analysis:

The interviews were held with personnel from the main Rovaniemi city library.
They were:

Ms. Liisa Tastula: Person in-charge of the youth department of Rovaniemi main
city library. Interview date and time: 9 January 2015, 1100 – 1145 hrs. And,

Mr. Seppo Ylijurva and Ms. Minttu Luomala: Personnel from Saarenkylä library.
Interview date and time: 9 February 2015, 1520 – 1600 hrs.

The interview held with Ms. Tastula was of utmost importance as it had the po-
tential to provide accurate insights into the functioning and running of a youth
department. She is an expert especially in handling the needs of the youth de-
partment of the library. Moreover, she has been along all the way when the
youth department was getting its own place in the library from 2012 – 2013.

From the interview, some points became crystal clear. These points too were in
conjunction with the responses received from the youth via the questionnaires
answered. They are:

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50

- Separate demarcation of the peace and vibrancy: the department has to


have a peaceful and quiet place where the young customers could just
be. That doesn’t mean that vibrant colors should be eliminated. The room
can very well be divided into two separate areas: individual seating ar-
rangement could be counted for the peace whereas the sofa / Fatboy ar-
ea could vouch for vibrancy.

- The vibrancy area could have the energy and the peppy posters which
the youth showed the desire for via questionnaires answered. I am not
including the game play area here as it is taken care of in the children’s
section in Saarenkylä library unlike in the main city library.

- Privacy: This area is one of the highlights that cannot be emphasized


enough and it became very evident in the interview with Liisa towards the
end. Also, this aspect of having one’s own personal space especially be-
came evident with the older youth – the students from the 10th standard
(10.lk).

- Comfort: This feature came at the forefront amongst the students via
questionnaires answered from four separate schools. This comfort in
practical terms implies place where the youth could just be or relax with
friends without doing anything. This in practical realization means com-
fortable seating equipments such as sofa and Fatboy. Because of the
space constraints, not much equipment can be accommodated in
Saarenkylä library’s youth department. Hence, whatever should be,
should be very chic and comfortable and in line with what the youth like.

The interview with the Saarenkylä personnel namely Mr. Ylijurva and Ms.
Luomala brought to light some interesting facts and viewpoints especially re-
garding the views on privacy. Mr. Ylijurva is the branch head whereas Ms.
Luomala is in-charge of the youth department in Saarenkylä branch. Two main
areas that lead the discussion were:

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51

Privacy: I had a different understanding of privacy: separate work sta-


tions, aloof from everyone – much on the lines of university students. But
during the interview discussion, Minttu highlighted the fact that separate
work stations were not the solution. Also the questionnaires did not clear-
ly mention nor explain the practicalities behind the term ‘privacy’ as un-
derstood by the youth / school students. Minttu suggested that privacy
was needed to be understood from the youth’s point of view: doing to-
gether in a group but yet in their own surroundings – a long table that
could be divided into say, three or four sub-tables where the customers
could work in a group in their ‘own’ department.

- Comfort: The personnel suggested and were of the opinion that sofa
should be changed and something new should be brought in that is vi-
brant and trendy. Also, suggestion on beanbag – Fatboy was mutually
agreed upon and necessary equipments such as a small refrigerator and
a microwave would further enhance the customers experience to feel
valued for and entertained in the youth department.

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52

6 CONCLUSION AND ACHIEVEMENT OF RESEARCH


OBJECTIVES

From the new knowledge generation results, analysis and discussion on the
current situation of the youth department, I want to put forward the following
suggestions. They are:

- Dismantling: The book shelves in the youth section need to be disman-


tled or if possible, reduction in the number of books can be considered to
give way for the space needed. The idea behind this is not just to have
room for activities but at the same time, not make the customers get the
feeling of being in a congested atmosphere! I checked with the library
personnel at Saarenkylä and received the confirmation that all the
shelves can be dismantled into groups of two, for example. The current
situation of the youth department is that the central space has three in-
creasingly placed long book shelves (refer Figure 11). The longest one
has next to it a sofa and a comfortable chair. This are is referred to as
the ‘relaxing’ area, which is mainly for socializing or sitting together with
group of friends. The point is - this demarcation is necessary to separate
the quiet / activity area from the relaxing / socializing area but it does not
have to be a long continuous book shelf: it can be dismantled or rather,
should be dismantled into smaller portions so that both the areas are ‘di-
vided’.

Creation of empty space: The dismantling will result in creation of emp-


ty space which is necessary to create activity area which is missing at
the moment as the three long shelves occupy almost all the space mak-
ing the youth department almost unknown or unnoticeable to the cus-
tomers. After this dismantling or removal of the smallest and medium
book shelves, the space generated would have a clear entrance and
would contain a designer table that can be broken down into three

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53

groups if group work needs to be done and simple yet compact wooden
chairs. However, the side book shelves and the computer station at the
adjacent side would retain their positions. One needs to remember that
space is limited and the changes need to be done keeping in mind that
the book shelves need to be accommodated and activity area needs to
be generated.

The Layout plan: I prepared the layout plan suggestion for redesigning
the youth department of Saarenkylä library. For this purpose, I used the
Roomle application. From the four pictures below, I have shown the 2D
and 3D layout plans. As from the pictures, two areas are visible: Relaxing
area and activity area.

o Relaxing area: This area is the first one to catch the eye as soon as
one approaches the youth department. This department is wel-
coming one as contrast to the current situation where it is hidden.
It features a brochure stand at its entrance followed by a subtle
green colored carpet and the department’s very own coat hanger
in vibrant dark pink color. This color finalization and suggestion is
from the library personnel. It then features a relaxing and comfy
green colored sofa along with two separate chairs and a round
center table. Behind the chairs, sits the spring-green colored Fat-
boy which is a favorite amongst the youth and as per the ques-
tionnaire analysis. Next to Fatboy, there is a small refrigerator and
on top of this refrigerator is vibrant red-colored coffee machine.

Activity area: This area features two main highlights: the computer sta-
tion and the table area. In the figures below, I have placed a rectangular
table which can be sub-divided into four smaller tables, should the need
be in case of group work. However, the library personnel wanted to place
a movable round table that can be divided into three smaller tables.
Since I could not find a round table to show in the figures, I have placed
a rectangular table. There is an elegant lamp and in front of the table,
there is a vibrant dark pink colored advertisement / display rack. This

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54

rack serve two purposes: it gives the desired privacy to the customers at
the computer station and to the groups working and using the table/s,
and also provides space to display new arrivals and advertisements re-
lating to the youth department.

This division of two areas is made possible by shifting the center and the
third long book shelves close to each other. I consulted with Seppo and
Minttu on this and the possibility to dismantle the shelves and effective
utilization of book shelves - transferring the material (books / magazines,
etc.) that do not circulate to the storage room so that the plan execution
can be possible.

2-D picture

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55

3D-picture (entrance view 1)

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56

3D-picture (entrance view 2)

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3D-picture (rear view 1)

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58

3D-picture (rear view 2)

- Research objectives: The first objective defined in the beginning of the


thesis research was to find the main cause behind the reducing / dimin-
ishing youth customers in Saarenkylä branch – I have not found a direct
answer to this question but many inferences such as what was missing
or what was desired in the department such as privacy, sofa, and vibran-
cy. Based on the desired scenario, I made the layout plan in consultation
with Mr. Ylijurva and Ms. Luomala.

The second objective was to understand the needs and wants of the
youth – With the help of answered questionnaires, this question is also
answered bringing up the highlights as to what was desired in the de-
partment.

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59

The third objective was to understand the current space utilization and
design from the eyes of the youth – This question was not directly an-
swered but via the answered questionnaires, it was quite evident that the
space was almost not existent for majority of the youth due to the over-
whelming presence of the three lengthy book shelves covering almost
the entire area of the youth department.

The last objective was to evaluate a plan and reinvent the youth depart-
ment – This was effectively achieved as a result of questionnaires and in-
terviews. With the help of Roomle application, 2D and 3D models of the
layout plan were made and consulted with the personnel concerned in
the Saarenkylä branch. They were both impressed with the models and
provided feedback on the plan. Necessary corrections were made and
sent via email attachments to them. This plan is a suggestion to the
Saarenkylä branch and I hope they get an approval to amend this plan
into a reality so that the youth feel entertained in the new space and in-
crease the frequency of visits to the department via new energetic expe-
riences and a positive word-of-mouth publicity.

In the literature review, it was suggested that the youth for whom the ser-
vices and facilities are being designed should be included in the plan-
ning, developing and application phase of the service design process.
The youth were involved in this research. However, since this is just the
planning part of the process, it needs to be observed as to how actively
they are included in the other phases. The review also suggests the old
traditions of youth centers where the youth gathered and ‘hanged
around’ is still the dearest amongst the youth. Via the survey results, this
theory not just holds true but also amplifies the need and demand of ‘col-
lectivism’: to achieve something collectively. This can be seen via the 3d
views of the designed space where tables are designed and workspaces
are arranged so that the youth can have their own needed privacy and
space in the library as well for group or individual work.

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60

Assessment of the reliability and methodology:

The research dealt with questionnaires and formal interviews with the li-
brary personnel. The questionnaires were handed over to the teachers
and I intentionally avoided my physical presence while the pupils were
answering the questionnaires. This was done in order to avoid any pre-
conceived set of thinking. The targeted age group was from 15 to 17
years and number of pupils in this age group was less than anticipated.
Hence, it would have been fruitful if these pupils were questioned in fur-
ther detail in order to assure the validity of the results.

The method implied in this research was qualitative. Further research is


extremely advisable in the form of new qualitative research methods
such as Focus groups (Guidelines for conducting a Focus group, 2005,
p.1.) This research is very useful as it goes deeper beyond surveys and
provides in-depth understanding of the opinions and the way one feels
about a given topic. It would be advisable to include a small group of pu-
pils from 8th, 9th and 10th grades to engage them to have a monitored but
yet anonymous discussion on how they feel and what they think about
the new designed space for the youth. This focus group study could have
been better implemented after the interviews in this research as the re-
sults would be more specific and profound.

It is extremely important and valuable to realize the importance of devel-


oping services and facilities that are attractive enough for the youth so
that they visit the library. In order to achieve a constant inflow of the
youth in the library, it becomes utmost important to listen to their needs
and provide them with a conducive learning environment that can help in
developing their learning abilities and working in small groups that be-
comes crucial in later life.

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REFERENCES

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Guidelines for conducting a Focus Group. 2005. In Trinity Duke Universi-


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söllisyys. Gaudeamus Oy.

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kirjasto mukana elämässä. Suomen kirjastoseura.

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Nuorisotutimusverkosto. Yliopistopaino Oy.

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Miettinen, Satu (toim.). 2011. Palvelumuotoilu – uusia menetelmiä käyttä-


jätiedon hankintaan ja hyödyntämiseen. Teknoliainfo Teknova Oy. Tam-
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Miettinen, Satu (toim.). 2014. Muotoiluajattelu. Teknoliainfo Teknova Oy.


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Theory – Discussions on change, value and methods. Lapland University
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Niinikangas, Liisa (toim.). 2000. Koulu kirjastossa – kirjasto oppimisymä-


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--Kulttuuri/Nuorten-kirjasto---suunnittelukilpailu

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tives on Finnish Interior design 1949-1999. Otava Publishing Company
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tecture: Critical and Primary Sources Volume 4. Bloomsbury.

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Vuontisjärvi, Kati; Pappien harrastuksesta moderniksi kirjastoksi; Rova-


niemen kaupunginkirjasto 150 vuotta
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kirjasto
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Appendix

APPENDICES

Appendix 1. Questionnaires.

Questionnaire (in finnish):

(go back to page 42)

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Appendix

Questionnaire (in english):

Improvement suggestions for the youth section of Saarenkylä library

Class: Age:
Sex: M/F

How often do you visit Saarenkylä library:


Once a week:_____ ; once a month_____ ; hardly______
And the Youth section:
Once a week:_____ ; once a month_____ ; hardly______

If you loan, you loan: Books_____ Games______ Maga-


zines/Newspapers____
Music_____ Movies______Comics_____

I visit library because: a. To loan books, newspapers, magazines, etc._______


b. To do homework_______
c. To meet friends_______
d. To read_______
e. To simply spend time______
f. To play games_______

What amongst the following would you like to see in the youth section?

- Privacy / Cubicles with table and chair Yes / No

- Refrigerator Yes / No

- Microwave Yes / No

- Coffee Machine Yes / No

- Vibrant Colors Yes / No

- Sofa Yes / No

- ‘Fatboy’ Yes / No

- Something else?

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Appendix

(What?)______________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________

If these things are provided, will you visit the library often? Yes / No

Thank you!

(go back to page 42)

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Appendix

Appendix 2. Interviews

Interview with Ms. Liisa Tastula, 9 January 2015, 1100 – 1145 hrs.

Interview with Ms. Tastula, librarian in-charge of the youth department of


Rovaniemi main city library:

Date and time: 9.1.2015; 1000 - 1115 hrs.

Questions in the form of bullet points:


- Who are you, your roles and duties?
- When did you start?
- In this department?
- What lead to changes?
- Change process?
- Outcome
- Satisfaction
- Recommendations for youth department of Saarenkylä branch.

(D: Dinesh Narula and L: Ms. Liisa Tastula)

D: Hello, I have conducted a questionnaire survey in four schools around /


in the vicinity of Saarenkylä library and have collected more than 200
answered questionnaires.

L: That's encouraging news.

D: Yes, almost all are inclined towards comfortable and privacy.

L: Yes. Saarenkylä area is full of families and the library customers are too
families, kindergarten and school going children. But having said that,

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Appendix

there should be space and facilities for the youth as well as its absence
results in less number of youth visiting there or being comfortable there or
spend time there. Also, previous research is of the view that the youth do
not want to be at the same place where small children are there.

D: It's quite understandable as they have just been thought that phase and
hence want to move ahead....

L: Yes, they want their own space. Also, the youth want that they should be
treated in the same way as children and not to be told / pinpoint on things
and not place in some brackets i.e. they want to find their own place. This
is the internet link which tells about the selection for the renovation of the
youth department.
Link to Rovaniemi city library's youth department planning competition

This idea was initiated by the cultural section of Rovaniemi city and they
were of the opinion that the main city library needed the youth department.
Previously it was located downstairs and before that it was at one corner
of the adult library section in the main hall. It was not such a good location
as it was an open place and just shelves - quite mundane for the youth.
This cultural section reserved a sun of 50,000 Euros for this project. They
organized a planning competition for the new youth department in the
main Rovaniemi city library for architecture students of Lapland University
and Aalto University in Helsinki. The students had to design the plan
based on certain criteria. In the above link, one can read about it.
Previously here in this youth department was the house of janitor /
caretaker as previously the caretakers used to stay next to the property.
After that, here was a library Café, then an art gallery and finally this place
was decided to be the youth department.
D: Caretaker used to stay here?
L: Yes, in the 60s, buildings were made and caretaker's house was always
located besides it. Hence, there is a kitchen and WC here of its own.

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Appendix

Hence, we wanted to preserve that as youth too want the facility to enjoy
their own meals so that they can use the kitchen equipments such as
refrigerator and microwave.
D: When this project was started?

L: This was started in summer of 2012. We had indeed thought that there
should be a youth department of the library. But when the cultural
department came up with this plan backed up by the findings, it was very
good as without the findings it would not have been possible. That time
Salla Erho, the current Rovaniemi library director was the person in-charge
of the project. She organized it and led it forward. This money was used
to make this space ready to be functioned as the youth department.

D: Who won the competition?

L: Saara Kantele, architecture students from Aalto University in Helsinki.


Her work was chosen and awarded and based on her plan, this space was
designed.

D: And this was opened in July 2013?

L: Yes. Saara came here many times from Helsinki. She went to the
storage room and tried to use all the originally and old material designed
by Alvar Aalto example - chairs and lamps. The shelves are new. The
kitchen is old and she wanted to use the old material and get old and new.
Also, Salla interviewed the personnel and the youth to get insights and
feedback on this. The department wanted to have its own service point,
display shelves to showcase the latest arrivals, personal reading places,
kitchen, internet browsing point, separate game play area, which was at first
decided to be closed but later on it was decided that it was better a one
corner. Exhibition wall is not there. But the youth helped in painting the
walls. The space was divided by the see through glass where one side

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Appendix

was this subtle greyish blue and the other side more reddish: on the
vibrant side.

D: Even the students want vibrant colors and energetic posters in


Saarenkylä library.

L: The youth can also use the space to put info’s via magnets at one corner
and also construct poems via magnets. Here too, this glass partition wall
separates the quite from the vibrancy. Saara has executed this beautifully
and she has incorporated the spirit of Aalto in her design and execution.
Since this space was originally the residence of the janitor, hence flexibility
was there in the use of colors.

D: Did Saara consult in any last minute changes in discussion with library
staff?

L: Yes, we were in touch with that aspect. Of course, we did little bit of our
own modifications in aspect with shelves. We were in touch with her via
telephone and email.

D: Any criticism or feedback after inauguration of this department when


routine set in?

L: This is indeed very practically planned and executed. But there are
certain things like the lighting of this info section: it remains dim in this
area. Hence it should have more light. Also shelves were provided with
lights in order for the material to be easily located but it is not been done
with all the shelves. Also we cannot incorporate all the books in relation to
youth here due to limited space. So we place here important works and
the ones that are old or not loaned since long are stored downstairs in the
storage room. Hence, the lighting system should be upgraded.

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Appendix

D: Is there a system here in place where group of young customers can


enjoy screening of certain film?

L: Yes, we have there, in the vibrant area, near the window, we pull down
the curtain, which serves as the screen for the screening and via projector,
one can enjoy the screening.

D: Last question, what according to you, should Saarenkylä do in relation


to their youth department? Is there any scope of achieving fundings for
that purpose?

L: Well, cannot say about that. The library director can answer that
question. But the budget is tight.

D: Any suggestions on the Saarenkylä youth department?

L: You must have yourself realized that the youth would want their own
place where they could go and just be, don't need to do anything, but just
be: with the friends or by themselves, sit down and be at peace without the
fear of being watched and having their own space. Of course, the books
and the material is also important and so is their space and this is what is
missed there by the youth. That's what i think is important. The seating
does not need to be top notch. Even the basic will do.

D: Great. I thank you for your time and appreciate your assistance.

(go back to page 43)

TURKU UNIVERSITY OF APPLIED SCIENCES THESIS | Dinesh Narula


Appendix

Interview with Mr. Seppo Ylijurva and Ms. Minttu Luomala, 9 February
2015, 1515 - 1600 hrs.

Interview with Mr. Ylijurva, Head of the Saarenkylä library branch of Rovaniemi
library and Ms. Luomala, librarian in-charge of the youth department of Saaren-
kylä branch of Rovaniemi library:

Date and time: 9.2.2015; 1515 - 1600 hrs.

Questions in the form of bullet points:


- Who are you, your roles and duties?
- Why this change after a long time? What led to this thinking?

- What lead to changes?


- Change process?
- Outcome
- Satisfaction
- Recommendations for youth department of Saarenkylä branch.

(D: Dinesh Narula, S: Mr. Seppo Ylijurva and M: Ms. Minttu Luomala)

D: Hello, for the records, you are Seppo Ylijurva and you head the Saarenkylä
branch?

S: Yes

D: And Minttu, you are in-charge of the youth department here?

M: Yes

D: As we know the case of main city library: how the youth department has
completely transformed and is being getting rave reviews…in case of Saarenky-

TURKU UNIVERSITY OF APPLIED SCIENCES THESIS | Dinesh Narula


Appendix

lä, why the delay? Or rather what lead the personnel to think that it needs to get
a ‘facelift’?

S: Well, the children’s section here is running well: we have received positive
reviews. No issues on that, but the youth department needs a ‘facelift’: space
utilization is to be thought of, although we did minor changes like bringing in
sofa and an exclusive computer work station for the youth! However there are
many shelves and that makes the place so congested!

M: Don’t know why this was not done before as have been here like around 6
months here. Before not many libraries had paid much attention to this depart-
ment but of late this change has been noticed: they want to make it better as
done in Tornio library in Lapland. Previously it used to be just books and
shelves but this concept is undergoing rapid development.

S: Before the economic depression in Finland, constantly funds were spent in


developing the library but because of this depression, its simply going on a ‘sav-
ing spree’

D: I have received around 270 answered questionnaires and it is quite evident


that privacy and sofa rank at the peak on the ‘desired’ list. I have carefully ex-
amined the space many times and found the overwhelming presence of these
three lengthy bookshelves that form the bulk of the youth department. Hence, I
would like to know if you are ready to compromise in this regard. I checked with
one of the personnel here and he confirmed that these shelves could be dis-
mantled / broken down in to smaller shelves. This would indeed create space
where a round table could fit it that is divided into four sub- portions and small
partitions in between that could provide privacy to the customers…

TURKU UNIVERSITY OF APPLIED SCIENCES THESIS | Dinesh Narula


Appendix

(Here we had kind of a debate where I was of the opinion that privacy would
mean separate partially hidden work stations as observed in universities but
then came to realize that it does not need to be on the lines of a university but
more on the youth perspective. Then we came to a mutual conclusion that a
medium-sized round table would be the best solution that could be further divid-
ed into three smaller sub-tables if the need be to work in groups. It would also
be great if these tables had small wheels so that they could be portable enough
and offer practical perspective when work is done in small groups. We mutually
agreed that there will be two separate areas: activity and relaxing area and en-
ergetic, vibrant colors would be used.)

(go back to page 43)

TURKU UNIVERSITY OF APPLIED SCIENCES THESIS | Dinesh Narula